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Reality TV: A Simple, Guilty Pleasure

Submitted by Danielle Cort on November 29, 2010 – 3:01 amComments

Last week, midway through a kicking-screaming-clawing episode of the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, my boyfriend calmly turned to me and said, “OK. Serious question. Why are we watching this?” I couldn’t help but laugh and smile, knowing full well this type of television shakes him to his core – Ray finds these shows insignificant, trivial and completely superficial. And I can’t say I disagree. But, I’m hooked.

I thought for a second about how I should answer. Should I tell him I liked the women’s clothes? Say I admire their diamonds, cars and lush home interiors? Admit that I ogle over their carefree, spa-obsessed lives? I hadn’t quite decided before the words came straight out of my mouth: “It doesn’t make me think,” I said.

There it was. The reason I hadn’t yet told myself. The one I was really looking for. Because let’s be honest, the only other reason people watch these shows is to lose themselves in a life they wished they had. And while that’s not me, it’s still terribly addicting to chronicle the lives of these women as they succeed, fail and humiliate themselves in front of the entire world. Plus, this answer bought me two more episodes of the Real Housewives and the fortunate pleasure of missing yet another Celtics game (I’m a fan, I promise, just not uber-curious about every game).

I have to admit…this reality show, and many others like it (Jerseylicious, Jersey Shore, 16 & Pregnant, Intervention, etc.), are nothing more than mindless entertainment, but Ray’s question really prompted me to think about why I enjoy watching them. After busy work weeks and stressful deadlines, watching a no-nonsense television show is just, well, easy. Sitting back with a glass of Pinot watching Giuliana and Bill buy their new home in the suburbs or following Macy and Amber as they struggle with their “baby daddy’s,” is unequivocally relaxing – no judging, no commentary, no opportunity for deciphering an Emmy-worthy performance – just pure and simple trashy entertainment.

Despite the craziness of the day-to-day and the seriousness that decision-making rears lately, I ‘gotta tell you, sitting back, wine in hand, candles lit and lights dim, the foolish rationale of reality stars proves to exert little energy and, lucky for Ray, a very quiet Danielle.

Speaking of, here I am, Sunday night tuned in to the Style Network. I’m not thinking about Monday morning responsibilities, magazine proofs, company networking or the holiday to-do. No. Right now, I’m fully immersed (sans writing this post), in a compelling episode of a Project Runway re-run. I might not be saving lives and taking names with this petty habit, but I’m happy, calm and worry-free. For the moment.

Photo Courtesy: Google Images

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